Worried about fine lines and wrinkles? Get the lowdown on how to slow down their progress.
Wrinkles may be an inevitable part of ageing, but there are certain things you can do to help your skin fight back.
From facial massage to the right way to remove make-up, turn these six tips into healthy habits to help prevent the appearance of wrinkles.
Why do we get wrinkles?
Wrinkles are merely a sign of ageing and something that everyone will experience at some point.
Usually, wrinkles appear where your skin has been exposed to the sun.
Normally they develop on your face, neck and the backs of your hands as they are the places you’re most likely to see them.
This is mainly down to the fact that they are areas that are constantly exposed to the sun.1
How your skin ages is dependent on your genetics and your skin type.
However, your skin is also affected by whether or not you smoke and how much you protect your skin from sun exposure.2
At what age do we start to get wrinkles?
On average, it is thought that your skin may begin to age from around the age of 25.3
Although this is dependent on skin type and genetics, it is however considered that wrinkles, laughter lines and crows feet are the earliest signs of ageing and may form as early as your mid-twenties through to your early thirties.4
Do moisturisers prevent wrinkles?
Moisturisers won’t prevent wrinkles, however, they do temporarily trap water in the skin which can help mask existing lines and wrinkles.5
10 ways to help prevent wrinkles
Read on to find out all about what you can do to help prevent wrinkles...
Stay out of the sun where possible
It’s a good idea to limit your sun exposure where possible.
Over time, UV light triggers changes in the skin, including the development of wrinkles, differences in pigmentation (colour), skin elasticity and alterations in skin texture.
A 2013 study from the journal Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology reported that UV light was responsible for 80% of the signs of ageing on the face.6
Obviously, it’s difficult to avoid the sun altogether, so if you do venture out, regularly wearing sun protection can delay the time you start developing fine lines and wrinkles.7
In one study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine in 2013, more than 900 under-55s were asked to either wear sunscreen every day or whenever they wanted.
Impressions were taken of the backs of their hands at the beginning of the study, and again four and a half years later.
Researchers found that the women who applied sunscreen daily showed no increase in skin ageing during the study, and they had 25% fewer signs of ageing than the women who applied sunscreen whenever they wanted.8
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Use a daily moisturiser
Moisturising every day can help your skin stay more hydrated, and improve its elasticity and smoothness.9,10
Certain moisturisers containing anti-ageing nutrients, like vitamins C and E, can also support your skin to produce more collagen – the protein that helps keep your face firm.
A review published in the journal Dermato Endocrinology in 2012 found that using a moisturiser containing vitamins C and E can help kick-start collagen production.11
The same study also reported that having vitamin A in your moisturiser stimulates the skin to produce collagen and elastic fibres.12
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Boost your vitamin E intake
Experts believe vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant, may help fight the damage from sunlight, pollution and other free radicals that are linked to ageing.
Include some vitamin E-rich foods, such as nuts and seeds, wheat germ and olive oil, in your diet every day.13,14
Massage your face
Facial massage relaxes the muscles and promotes blood and lymph flow – all of which helps improve the appearance of your skin.
In 2016, Japanese researchers studied the effects of face massages on 12 women aged between 30 and 54.
They discovered that the massage reduced the appearance of laughter lines, plus signs of ageing around the eyelids and cheeks.15
Remove your make-up the right way
Avoid vigorously rubbing your eyes when removing eyeshadow or mascara.
The skin around your eyes contains fewer oil glands and collagen compared to the rest of the skin on your body, which means it’s more likely to develop fine lines.16
So, gently does it.
While more research is required, many studies show that cigarette smoke can age your skin.
This is thought to be because an enzyme in cigarettes breaks down collagen and elastin which are two important components of the skin.
One particular study which was carried out at the Twin Research Unit at St Thomas Hospital in London revealed that a brother or sister who smoked tended to have more wrinkles and skin 40% thinner than their non-smoking sibling.17
Get enough sleep
When you don't get enough sleep, the body produces excess cortisol, a hormone that breaks down skin cells, one study from Yale University in the US says.18
If you can get the recommended 7-8 hours of sleep a night, your body will produce more human growth hormones (HGH) which helps your skin stay thicker, more elastic and less likely to wrinkle.
Eat more cold-water fish
Coldwater fish such as salmon is not a great source of protein, which helps support your skin.
But it’s also full of omega-3 which can help keep your skin feeling plump, which may help reduce wrinkles.
Eat more soy
One study from the European Journal of Nutrition found that soy-based supplements may improve the structure and firmness of the skin after around six months of use.
More human research is needed to qualify this.
Best home remedies for wrinkles
Whether you have a few wrinkles or a lot, you’ll probably want to reduce their prominence.
Before you head to the pharmacy for creams and serums, take a look in your kitchen and try out one or more of these home remedies.
Massaging a small amount of olive oil into your wrinkles daily can help tighten up your skin.
Alternatively, you could use coconut oil which will also help keep your skin feeling soft and looking youthful.
Having a cup of hot ginger tea once or twice a day could help stop your skin’s elastin being broken down.
Elastin and collagen work together to give your skin its shape and firmness so you can’t afford to have less elastin as it’ll result in more wrinkles.
Aloe Vera juice
Aloe Vera can be great for prolonging the appearance of and treating wrinkles, so why not have an Aloe Vera juice or smoothie?
Aloe Vera helps increase how much collagen your skin has and this helps stop your skin sagging.
Lemon juice face mask
Make your own face mask by mixing a tablespoon of lemon juice, yoghurt and vitamin E oil together to give your skin a boost.
You’ll need to leave it to work for twenty minutes but it should help to reduce the appearance of any dark circles from around your eyes and smooth out your wrinkles.
Avocado face mask
Avocados are packed with vitamin E which helps refresh your skin and may make it look firmer.
Simply mash the pulp of an avocado and apply it to your face for twenty minutes before washing off.
Mint and cucumber face mask
To help give your face more shine and reduce the appearance of your wrinkles, make a face mask from some mint leaves, cucumber and an egg white.
You’ll be surprised by the difference it makes with just one application.
The advice in this article is for information only and should not replace medical care. Please check with your GP or healthcare professional before trying any supplements, treatments or remedies. Food supplements must not be used as a substitute for a varied and balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle.
Last updated: 11 March 2022